Tonawanda News

Columns

February 9, 2014

Of Sochi, sport and a momentary miracle

Tonawanda News — When it comes to the true meaning of sports there are two over-simplified narrative traps.

Sports are a meaningless distraction played by a bunch of overpaid, vain athletic freaks desperate for attention.

Sports are a metaphor for life and the struggle to overcome obstacles and reach the height of human achievement in the face of adversity.

There are elements of truth in both but I think it’s more subtle than either narrative would suggest.

Playing sports is about having fun, first and foremost. Picture any great athlete in their quintessential moment of triumph, you’ll never see someone having a better time in life.

Watching sports is about becoming part of something larger than yourself. It isn’t a hobby. It isn’t an obsession. It’s about coming together with like-minded people. It’s democracy at its finest. The great leveler of barroom banter and arena attendance. 

It’s why I love the Olympics. 

Four years ago, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller put Buffalo at the center of the sporting universe for his dazzling performance as the tournament’s most valuable player, leading the Unites States to a surprise silver medal — and within a whisker of upsetting host Canada for the gold.

Here’s what I wrote of watching that game four years ago:

Some 500 people crowded into an upper floor banquet room, glued to the large flat screen TVs. ... When Buffalo native Patrick Kane found the puck on his stick in the high slot, 30 seconds left and America down by a goal, the place was already on its feet. We held our breath as he turned and fired. Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo got a pad on the shot, but Zach Parise stood poised at the goalmouth to slam home the rebound and send America and its hockey capital of Buffalo into a frenzy.

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Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

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